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Dark-winged fungus gnat (Diptera: Sciaridae) maggots

Dark-winged fungus gnat (Diptera: Sciaridae) maggots Photo credit: Michelle Gordy, ©2021

Dark-winged fungus gnat (Diptera: Sciaridae) maggots
Photo credit: Michelle Gordy, ©2021

Dark-winged fungus gnat (Diptera: Sciaridae) maggots (fly larvae) are about 3/8 inch long, slender, legless, and have transparent bodies with shiny black head capsules.

Some species of fungus gnat larvae feed on fine roots damaging the plants. However, most larvae feed on decaying plant matter and fungi in the soil and thatch layer. The larvae come to the surface to migrate to pupate.

Fun Fact: Fungus gnat larvae migrate en masse to avoid predation.

Management of adults and larvae: avoid overwatering (outdoors – the lawn; indoors – potted plants), control the thatch layer in turf, and avoid over-mulching.

For more information about fungus gnats as common houseplant insects, see HGIC 2252, Common Houseplant Insects and Related Pests.

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at hgic@clemson.edu or 1-888-656-9988.

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